Euroa Christian Fellowship founder and Shepparton News religious columnist George Deeble said finding God helped save his marriage.By Ashleigh Williamson
George Deeble was a verbally abusive drunk who almost lost his marriage because of it.
He was also a religious cynic, but he eventually embraced God and helped start Euroa Christian Fellowship in 2002.
Mr Deeble, 68, has written religious columns for The News for the past 15 years.
The father of two said Christianity saved and strengthened his marriage with Glenda.
‘‘To a lot of people, I was happy-go-lucky when I was full (of alcohol), but when I’d get home, I wouldn’t hit her, but I was spiteful and quite nasty,’’ Mr Deeble said.
‘‘We went through dramas where our marriage nearly collapsed about 30 years ago.
‘‘It was only because we kept looking at the Lord, we got through it.’’
Friends from Ferntree Gully invited Mr Deeble and his wife to church when their marriage was in trouble.
‘‘I was a bit cynical about the whole thing (at first), I thought they were all fruitcakes,’’ Mr Deeble said.
Mr Deeble said Christianity made him a better person because he became less selfish.
‘‘I was probably a good dad and husband in a lot of ways, but it was all about me, basically,’’ he said.
‘‘When I developed that personal relationship with Jesus, I think it changed.
‘‘It doesn’t suddenly mean all the problems in your life are solved, but I had the ability to cope better.’’
Mr Deeble has lived in the Goulburn Valley for about 35 years.
The former public service worker was a pastor at the GV Christian Fellowship in Shepparton.
He took over writing weekly columns in The News from fellow pastor Robert Hough.
Mr Deeble said his columns mostly linked normal life experiences to the Bible.
‘‘I’ve enjoyed it, but one of the things I’ve found is every so often I’ll think, ‘I can’t be bothered doing this,’ because I start to struggle coming up with ideas,’’ he said.
‘‘Invariably, someone will ring up or I’ll run into someone who I don’t know and they said they read it and it had quite an impact.
‘‘That’s enough to keep me going. It gives you a bit of heart.’’
Mr Deeble said one woman covers her toilet door with his columns.
‘‘She puts them up there every week and that sounds a bit peculiar, but I thought that’s rather nice,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s great to feel like you’re contributing in some way and giving people a bit of hope.’’
Mr Deeble works at Shepparton Christian College’s library three days a week.
His column, ‘‘A Quiet Word’’, appears in The News each Friday.
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